One of the project’s outspoken supporters is the Peace River Regional District, providing a funding application for Geoscience BC to submit to the Northern Development Initiative Trust – another project partner.
“The members of the PRRD saw the benefit of working with Geoscience BC to better understand the source and characteristics of water in our region,” writes Lori Ackerman, Mayor of Fort St. John and Chair of the Peace River Regional District. “Our region is home to many competitors for water therefore the value of water is clearly understood. We are very pleased to support this initiative.”
The project is in response to the province’s Water Sustainability Act, announced in March of 2014, which regulates groundwater usage. The Peace Project will provide technical knowledge of the region’s shallow aquifers – effectively facilitating groundwater protection.
The first phase of the project begins this year, which includes a new airborne geophysical survey. The survey will cover 8,000 square kilometres, stretching from Hudson’s Hope and Fort St. John to the area past Pink Mountain.
“This survey will collect data to a depth of 300 metres below the earth’s surface, which can then be used to produce maps of shallow aquifer distribution, quantity and quality,” writes director of business development for Geoscience BC Andrea Clifford.
The data collected will also serve as a component of the Northeast Water Strategy – currently under development, and more particularly, its anticipated Enhanced Water Monitoring System. The Northeast Water Strategy is a partnership between the provincial government, Treaty 8 First Nations, local governments, regulatory bodies, and the resource sector.
“The collective effort in support of the Peace Project is a testament to the importance and growing recognition of groundwater protection to everyone,” writes Robin Archdekin, Geoscience BC’s President & CEO. “This work will provide the necessary framework for effective groundwater stewardship by all stakeholders and enable informed and responsible resource development.”
The Peace Project partners include the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers through the Science and Community Environmental Knowledge Fund, ConocoPhillips Canada, Progress Energy Canada Ltd., the Province of British Columbia, and the Northern Development Initiative Trust.